Amateur football: Huskerz remain undefeated with 57-0 win
WORTHINGTON — It took only two offensive plays — four total — for the Southwest Huskerz to establish their dominance over the North Iowa Bucks Saturday at Trojan Field.
On the first play from scrimmage, Huskerz quarterback Jordan Larson connected with Trae Johnson on a 66-yard touchdown strike. A snap over the head of Bucks QB Taylor Trappe on their second play was recovered by Southwest’s Jordan Bouw at the North Iowa 15-yard line. One play later, Larson found tight end Mike Hatten in the near corner of the end zone and the rout was on.
The game ended with 8:50 remaining in the fourth quarter when the Bucks — who started the game with just 12 healthy players — suffered their fourth injury of the day and didn’t have enough guys to finish. The Huskerz had already run away with it at 57-0.
“Today was more about coming in and getting the job done,” said Huskerz running back Darieon Smith, who finished the game with four touchdowns. “On the first play of the game we made them respect the pass. We’re known as more of a running team but we’re not one-dimensional. I can pound it all day but we can get it done in the passing game, too.”
North Iowa fumbled again on its next drive with Levi Ossefoort picking it up for the Huskerz. After stringing together a balanced drive, Smith punched it in from two yards out. A safety on another snap over Trappe’s head gave Southwest a 23-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“Part of what we’ve been preaching is obtaining the number-one seed in the playoffs and to do that you need to maintain no matter what,” Huskerz head coach Ken McCuen said. “The guys came out and played like that’s what we were trying to do today. We set the tempo right away.”
A 46-yard touchdown gallop by Smith and a 12-yarder for Michael Ramirez on an end around extended the lead to 36-0 by the time the first half came to and end.
The momentum showed no signs of slowing coming out of the break, however. Blake Schroeder fell on the opening kickoff to give the ball back to Southwest. The Huskerz capitalized on a 3-yard touchdown run by Smith, his third of the game.
“One of our points of emphasis coming in was to get the passing game going early,” McCuen said. “We did that and our running game fed off of our passing. Obviously we have tremendous running backs.”
After Tyler Decker set the Huskerz up with a short field again, Schroeder found Khalid Waters on a 14-yard touchdown late in the third. Smith scored once more early in the fourth before the game came to an end with 8:50 still showing on the clock.
The Huskerz finished the game wth 434 yards of total offense — 264 rushing and 170 passing — while holding the Bucks in place for most of the afternoon.
Smith led the rushing attack with 184 yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries. Larson was 5-for-7 with two touchdown passes. His top target was Johnson, who hauled in three passes for 114 yards and a score.
Defensively, Mark Riley got into the backfield for five sacks. Demetrius Washington had a team-high seven tackles and a sack while Bouw got to the quarterback twice and recovered two fumbles.
The win improved the Huskerz to 4-0 on the season as they are currently atop the Southern Plains Football League standings and ranked No. 3 in the nation. They’ll put that on the line at 4 p.m. Saturday at Trojan Field against the Warriors.
“Honestly, to me, the rankings mean absolutely nothing,” Smith said. “The fact that we’re 4-0 means absolutely nothing. We need to just take it one game at a time. The objective is to take care of business on the field. We don’t want the numbers to speak for us; we want our play on the field to speak for us.”
Huskerz 23 13 14 7 — 57
Bucks 0 0 0 0 — 0